Junior Galette played well for the Redskins in 2017, he just didn't play enough.
Coming back from consecutive torn Achilles injuries that forced him to miss the 2015 and 2016 seasons, it made sense for Washington to ease Galette back into the pass rush rotation early in the season. It made sense, for a time.
Galette did not get more than 30 snaps until the second half of the season, and even then, his snap total slipped below 20 for consecutive NFC East games in November.
The statistical production wasn't particularly impressive, Galette registered just three sacks in 16 games, but Pro Football Focus graded him a +16.2 on the season, landing in the Top 15 among 3-4 outside linebackers.
When the season ended and his contract expired, the Redskins made an offer to keep Galette. The money wasn't enough and the two sides ended the negotiations.
Now, just two weeks before the start of training camp, it's hard to say the outside linebacker spot couldn't use a boost. The 'Skins have stalwarts in Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith, but after that come Pernell McPhee and Ryan Anderson.
Washington moved quickly to sign McPhee after contract talks with Galette broke down. He's a veteran that has produced, when healthy, though he's fought injuries over the least few seasons in Chicago. Anderson, a second-round pick in 2017, showed zero in his rookie season. Could he make big strides in year two? Sure, but that might be a risky proposition.
Which brings things all the way back to Galette.
In 2017, the Redskins went to camp deep at OLB. The team had Kerrigan, Smith, Galette, Trent Murphy and had just drafted Ryan Anderson.
In 2018, the 'Skins have just Kerrigan, Smith, McPhee and Anderson. Certainly other OLBs are on the 90-man roster, but none seem like locks for the actual 53-man roster that will take the field Week 1 in Arizona.
For months, it seemed Galette was done with Washington. He even hinted at retirement in social media posts.
This week, however, that sentiment seems to be thawing.
Lol still a chance https://t.co/qlV9AHb9bW— Junior Galette (@JovaisG) July 10, 2018
In another tweet, Galette said he would "pull up right now" if the Redskins made a "2/10" offer. The "2/10" in the tweet (caution graphic language) refers to a suggested contract offer of two years for $10 million.
Back in March when free agency opened, Galette made clear he wanted more money than the Redskins were offering. It's possible that offer was on the table, and maybe didn't look great then, but looks good now. Remember that the Redskins pulled their offer and 'Skins personnel VP Doug Williams told Galette that the team was going in a different direction. That direction was McPhee.
A few months later, and with camp coming fast and the regular season just around the corner, maybe time can heal old wounds?
It seems unlikely.
Scot McCloughan signed Galette and stood by the pass rush specialist as he dealt with two lost seasons. McCloughan hasn't worked in Washington for more than a year now.
Repeatedly this offseason, Washington's top brass stated their confidence in the 2018 squad. Williams, along with Bruce Allen and Doug Williams, expect this team to compete for the NFC East title this fall. Bringing Galette at this point back would run counter to that sentiment.
Still, never say never.
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